33

The finale: When this Coffee met her Bagel.

This has been in-the-works for a while now(close to a year), but I took my own sweet time to put it down in words and this has been an exceptionally hard post to write. Meeting this boy was surreal and serendipitous and would not have happened without some strong intervention from fate, or intuition, if you will. Maybe the universe really does work in mysterious ways, and you catch feelings when you least expect it. Like stomach flu, but in a good way. No?

So, ladies and gentlemen, here’s Mr. PB!

It started from a state of being absolutely and totally over any kind of dating, including online matrimonial portals. I had met another boy(#7) that I haven’t written about who was eerily similar to Boy 6 and deserves minimal mentions. Yet, I gave him a few chances and the last dinner date at his place and a walk on the beach confirmed that I never wanted to see him again. Well, the cringe that I felt inside when he touched me, should have sealed the deal, but I was still giving him a chance of redemption. Anyways, I was done and I let him know that.

But me being me, I opened the Coffee Meets Bagel app for ‘one final time’ and came across this one profile. I cant say much about his pictures because to be honest, I wasn’t sure for a few dates which one was I dating! The dude had most of his pictures in sunglasses, OR with his similar looking brother! Sheesh. But something about his profile caught my eye and I decided to try and connect with him. Alas, that lasted for a day because once we exchanged hey’s, he asked me about my non-profit work, and I was blown off with a ‘That’s a nice story but I worked way too hard and I gotta crash’ text after my reply which was more or less like a 250 words essay. I was convinced that it was a lie, because, err, I may or may not have used that in the past. A few days later, after no communication between the two of us, CMB reminded him that it was the last day before the line was closed off. I had assumed this interaction to be the end of it, just like many other missed chances. But the notification seemed to have prompted him to leave his number to get in touch later. I saved his number, with no intention of texting back. Because, hey! Ego! Y’all know me well enough already.

A week or two later, my grad school buddies were in SD for the weekend, and I had S+A’s wedding to attend that Sunday in OC. Hilarious drinking ensued on all 3 nights with some heart to heart talks with my favorite girlfriends(and the boys too) across the table as well as continents, who somehow convinced me to give dating another shot. Some incidents on Saturday night, and the wedding itself, pushed me further towards his profile’s direction. The boy’s profile was looked at and judged by the girls ‘during’ tequila shots and I was hit in the head for not texting back. So I did. 🙂

As soon as we started texting, he asked me out for a drink and I suggested one of my favorite places for a Brewery event that I already had planned on attending that Saturday. Because God forbid, I have to change my plans for anything or anyone. Now that I think of it, I set the date up to be a failure, unknowingly. There was all that beer(he is a whiskey kind of a guy), the brewery is stuffed at that time(he prefers places we can talk in peace, or dance at!), my friends could have been there(dumbest idea ever, duh) and the event had only vegan food(only PB was a happy bunny here). I had already reached and was waiting for him to show up, and then he did…

I don’t really know how to express it all in words, but the fact that we spent almost 6 hours together, should tell you enough how the date really went. We left the brewery within the hour and walked over to a cocktail bar next door, and that place stands as witness to the most beautiful turn our lives were taking together. We spent the next many hours sitting on barstools there, where we had assumed we would be spending just the next hour perhaps. We drank cool charcoal cocktails, ate some yummy food, talked about all things sundry, while my heart did backflips everytime he laughed and clapped his hands together! His eyes caught his smile and it was making me flutter. He drove me back home and dropped me just outside my apartment. We said bye, I went in and I panicked. I had caught feelings…

We met, and we couldn’t stop meeting. I missed him when I couldn’t see him, and when I saw him, I couldn’t have enough of him. And, he really was busy at work and not bluffing, as I initially thought. Dude’s a workaholic! I haven’t told him this yet, but I was falling so hard for him, that I was losing sleep! We attributed it to stress at that time, but I knew what was up with me. I was losing my appetite(that’s the most obnoxious sign), I was failing to understand jokes and I could not stop thinking about him. I really hoped that he was feeling the same way about me, like my soul depended on it. Post some amazing cocktails, an adoption event by my dog rescue, a movie where I tried hard not to cry, a beautiful evening at Mt. Soledad, a Cinco de Mayo with homemade tacos, some Ramen and Pho, a dash of dancing, some weekend trips to snow clad mountains, a first international trip together, here we are.

We have had an amazing year together, and I still have the giddy school girl feeling inside me when I think about him, see him and snuggle into him. He loves reading, traveling and sports, and plays cricket for the local league. He has a curious and intelligent mind, with a will to leave more positive impacts on the world. He has never lived with dogs before, but his compassion towards them, and towards people, makes me happy. One of the best things about him is his emotional availability that makes him very expressive with words and they have so much sincerity in them. He is an absolutely wonderful friend and family boy. He loves to laugh freely, sing loudly and is not afraid of showing emotions. He is very expressive about showering me with love, irrespective of us being alone, or with another hundred people. When he squeezes my hand, or me, I feel that all is right in the world. And, oh so handsome! This gorgeous and wonderful boy is mine, and I am his.

I feel like he gets me. He gets my silences, and my laughter. I have opened up like never before, and although this vulnerability freaks the bejesus out of me, I don’t mind it. I do have my moments though, of course. My famously thin skin, the ability to take each and every word to heart and then stewing over it and my bucket loads of insecurities are making this all pretty fun too. Ask him! He calls himself an overcommunicator, and I tend to shut down, so he is making me come out of my shell. I am learning to express myself in ways that I never have. The calm that he brings over me, remains unmatched. He is the stillness to my turbulence, the words to my silences, and a perfectly suitable ear to my rants. We couldn’t be more opposite to each other, yet we somehow ‘meet in the middle’, and will hopefully continue to. So, this was what the heavens had planned for me, and I truly am grateful for this wait. We are in love with each other, completely and hopelessly.

Finishing up this story that I have held to my heart for almost a year now, I feel a beautiful energy surrounding me. Being newly engaged, and so deeply in love, I somehow cannot think of having it any other way. He is the most spectacularly amazing thing that is happening to me, and I cannot wait to see how we shape up together. Our story has just begun and hopefully we live a beautiful life together. Me and mi amor…

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13

New things

My days feel different,
There is a newness in the air,
Not just about my friends,
I have more stories to share.

The more I want to tell,
The more I want to hide,
Keep it under wraps,
Or show off with pride.

Goin’ about town together,
Meeting new friends,
Exploring each other’s lives,
And the promise of new lands.

We can be stupid together,
Take a break from all that wise,
Evenings full of laughter,
Stolen kisses and all things nice.

‘Hello, I am PB’
That’s all I used to say,
Hoping for a change of story,
And some more new things today.

8

How not to be THAT girl on Tinder…

I have spoken plenty on how guys should behave on Tinder/Coffee Meets Bagel/Bumble or whatever profile you are on. But for the sake of equality, I should jot down the way us girls should also behave. It is unfair to demand only men be a certain way while being totally disrespectful and/or obnoxious. There is no reason we should get away with it.

I am guilty of a fair few things here and I am trying to work on it. I will not talk about what results have come my way yet. Because, nope. But still, in the hopes of being an overall better person, I would like to implement all of these, and would love it if my gal pals could too as well. So here it goes…

  1. First and foremost, keep an open mind, for God’s sakes! 1-2 dates aren’t enough to judge a person usually, unless it’s gone way south already.
  2. Please respect time. “Don’t ask me why I am late if I am wearing a winged eyeliner” is not acceptable. Please!
  3. Don’t ridicule a guy’s English without any context about his background. In the same vein, if you are not comfortable and feel a language barrier creeping up, its okay! It happens.
  4. Do not talk about your ex unless it comes up, and keep it light and breezy. You are talking to a potential partner and not to an agony aunt.
  5. This is a point of debate, but I always offer to split. I do consider it gentlemanly if the guy picks up the tab a couple of times at least in the beginning, but I can be my own sugar mama too.
  6. Do not lecture someone on vegetarianism or veganism, or even meat eating. Start the lecture after a few dates. 😉
  7. Reminder to myself: Displaying shock and anger and arguing over why everyone MUST read Harry Potter is not gonna get you anywhere. Look surprised, take a deep breath, mention subtly how it is the best series ever, and move on to his other interests.
  8. Ladies, keep the phone away, please. Okay, a picture for your yelp is okay(once you explain your elite status, woohoo!) but dont start Instagrammin’.
  9. Please don’t be mean and condescending about his interests, family, friends, job, background. It’s not nice anyways, and anywhere.
  10. In the same vein, don’t be mean about other people. Not on a date, and not even otherwise. It’s just not nice. Occasional lapses are of course allowed, with the BFF.

So go ahead, take that chance…. You never know….

 

24

Dating Tales : Boy 6 : Date 1

Wanted: Very well educated, very high up in the medical field, cultured, extremely sexist, Obamacare opposer, self absorbed douche, humblebrag, homophobic Indian man.

Enter my last date.
It was awful you guys, just awful. To let you know the degree of the awfulness, I SKIPPED THE OFFER OF FREE ICECREAM AND BOLTED!
Without going into too many details, I will again list down some pointers on what NOT to do on a date, inspired by the douchebag:

Do not suggest a place, and then go back on it 5 times, forcing the girl to put her foot down on the pre-decided place.

  • If she says, she is okay not drinking and prefers to not have alcohol on weekdays, do not respond with “C’mon, dont be so old!”
  • Do not keep bitching about the parking situation. She f*ing walked a mile after parking her car, whereas, you drove around for 10 minutes, and parked right in front of the cafe. Also, while walking her to her car, dont be snarky about her parking far away. It is f*ing Little Italy! No easy parking!
  • Do not keep talking only about yourself, and do realize EVERYONE is working hard and has a respectable job.
  • Do not go ‘but that’s easy’ when she tells you about her friends being physical therapists, or orthodontists, etc. We get it that you had lots more to do, but dont be such a loser.
  • Do not say something stupid about same-s*x relationships and then follow it with ‘Not that I have a problem’ with a sarcastic laugh. You aren’t Seinfeld.
  • Do not ask more than 5 questions to the server about the menu. Do not ask him to explain the ENTIRE menu. Do not go over EVERY drink, specially when her food has arrived and has been waiting for 5 minutes getting cold.
  • Do not give a speech on Obamacare for 20 minutes, and do pay attention when her eyes glaze over.
  • Do not say these words: Ah well, I shouldnt say this, usually girls are Hillary supporters *Sarcastic laugh*
  • Just dont be an a**h#le, okay?
ANNNDDDD, if she hasnt responded to you in the last 2 weeks, DO NOT call her at 2.58 am on the weekend. NOPE.
12

Dating Tales : Boy 4 : Date 1

A lot of people have been asking me to chronicle more dates or setups that are going on in my life. I feel extremely sad to disappoint you all, and myself, that there aren’t a lot of those things going on even now. At this juncture, the past is out of the window, but it takes all the effort to not be a 3 year old who says ‘eww’ and blushes when someone mentions a boy.

I have spoken to a few people, and met 3 so far. The first was depressing, with his hypothetical question and declaration that he may move back at any point to India and he doesn’t mind living in a one bedroom apartment with his parents. I was too stunned the whole time to react and he took that as me being high. Yes, he asked me that. And I was not, I promise.

The second one went alright, but the dude got back with his girlfriend, with both of us clear after the first date itself that we were better friends than as a couple.

The third, was a bit of a basketcase when it came to communication and definitely needs a mention here.

So, I came across this guy and let’s call him Mr. Y. He was from a town close to my city back in India but he went to college in my city before moving to US for his grad school and work. He is an IT guy and he definitely was the kind who studied all his life, and aspires to work for the Silicon Valley bigwigs. He told me within a few moments of the date that he is getting interview calls already from Facebook and Google. I did not feel like telling him that they call literally every techie in California, with a lot of my friends actually succeeding the interview rounds. Anyhow, here goes the timeline of our exchanges.

Saturday was when we started texting each other and it was a short exchange of 3-4 texts where he confirmed to call on the next Tuesday at 7.30 pm. It sounded more like a corporate meeting scheduling than a getting to know each other conversation.

Tuesday, he texted at 7.30 pm to check my availability to answer the damn call. I called him back right away and we spoke for 20 min, where there were really long pauses and I could hear a very slow and sad background music that could exist in that part of my biopic if ever made. Towards the end of that call, we agreed to text on Friday to confirm a spot to meet on Saturday for a date.

Friday evening arrived, with clockwork precision, Mr. Y texted and asked if a Starbucks would be fine. I asked if he would like to go to some other coffee shop, and that I had a few nice places on my Yelp list. We decided on Portola in Costa Mesa because it is adorable with it’s industrial interiors and I have always wanted to go there.

Saturday afternoon, we met at the coffee shop, talked for around an hour, and yet I left from there feeling like I did not know him AT ALL! The only recall value was how nice my coffee was, he liked NBA, and he had a Scuba license that he told me 3 times about. My impression of him was a vanilla software techie, with a Scuba diving license. One thing irked me big time was the way he was pronouncing my city’s name. It bothered me way more than it should have! We left the cafe after telling each other that we’ll text and stay in touch and see how it goes from thereon.

10 day later, until Tuesday, I saw no message or call from him. I was sort of mad at him for not even sending a polite text like it was nice seeing you, or something sweet. So, in all my anger and ego, I texted him that since we have had no communication with each other, we may as well end it here. My outlook is, if either of us would have felt inclined to meet again, we would have texted.

On Wednesday, Mr. Y replied apologizing for a late reply. His reason was that he was unsure of what to reply because he thought the meeting was great and he was going to suggest to meet a few more times. I was so confused! Because at what point did he think that I knew about him wanting to meet more! Anyways, I decided to be nice and offered to meet again and give him a second chance. And I waited.

Until another 10 days later, on Saturday again. I swallowed my pride and I messaged him only to find out that he was in San Jose with his friends. I talked about food(because that’s my fav topic) for a few minutes and told him that I was running the St. Paddy’s 5k like every year the next day, Sunday.

Monday, he messaged asking how my run was. I said that it was very fun and I had a great time with my friends. He said ‘nice.’ That was it. Those were our last sentences to each other. It has been more than a month.

Such a lack of attention is a turnoff for this princess. I don’t understand. There were 20 messages to each other in a span of 1.5 months almost. Is he still thinking that we got along very well, and has he assumed we will be meeting more? Only God and Mr. Y know!

 

27

Dating Tales : Boy 3 : Date 1

I think sometime in October, I got very frustrated with something (or someone, we can say) and I hopped back on Coffee meets Bagel, a dating app for a brief 5-6 days. I wanted to get back on it, but I had a nagging belief that if I focus on one person, maybe it will work. But I realized it was not meant to be. I realized I need a man, and not a boy. And I want a story, not just a chapter anymore. Such a nice dialogue! I should be a writer. Or a columnist. I digress.

So, to cut a short story shorter, I started talking to a guy from the app. I liked him basically because he is a Phd and has 2 big dogs. Yes, that’s my criteria, no judging. I have been talking to him on and off since then. We have exchanged pictures of Moony and his two dogs that are huge and absolutely adorable. He asked me to meet several times when he was taking his dogs to the beach or to dog parks, but I usually had something or the other. Finally, I texted him if he was free on Wednesday and met him yesterday.

This was an interesting date. For one, there was no food involved, and I was honestly glad about it. I met him at a park near my gym after my work out and I wasn’t even dressed up and all that. I was in my workout gear and two sweaters(it was cold!). I did take pains to dab my face clean in the gym locker room and put on some kajal and mascara and some perfume. But that was about it. I reached the park and he got there after 5 minutes and then I met his dogs! And, err, him.

So, to protect any detection, I am going to call the dogs Miss and Mister. Miss was a 50 lb dog that was found on the street as a stray(suspiciously left by owners), starving at 20 lbs. She has the most pleadingly adorable eyes ever and comes to you every so often to look and stare and ask for re-assurance. Mister is a gentle giant and way bigger than her, like a horse, with the saddest droopiest eyes that fool everyone. He loves the outdoors but gets tired easily. He was turned to the shelter after some neighbors spotted him in a foreclosed home. Mister has not seen starvation and streets but Miss has and he said that is the reason that Mister will walk out of open door and car windows but Miss will not. It broke my heart to hear that. 😦

We spoke a lot while walking around. He was not boring. He made some jokes about me and him and the dogs and told me funny stories from Indiana and here. I told him some of my goofy stories and he laughed at appropriate places. It was a nice long walk, and I had worked on my legs at the gym, but I did not complain. I was walking Miss while he had Mister and I did not get bored at any point. He is a Telugu guy from Mumbai, and seems to have quite a cosmopolitan approach. The best part is, he LOVES dogs and even volunteers at the Orange County shelter and I have told him that I want to sign up as well. He is also a vegetarian. One attractive thing about him is that he is very well educated. I always like that in a man and that is somewhat of a turn on. Ooh, he is also moving to the apartment complex just across the street where I have recently moved.

About feelings, I don’t know if I am attracted to him. I have definitely struck a chord with him, but regarding turning it into a romance, we don’t know. Only time can tell. If you are wondering how and why, when I already have Anuroop(the wedding portal) looming closer and closer, let me tell you, that I will not give up trying to find someone on my own. The medium could be a website or an app, or through friends. Not in a bar, definitely not, I am just not that person. And through friends also seems questionable, because I have shamelessly asked Abhi if he has any single friends, and he suggested ONE person VJ who is poles apart and very brother like and funny. Hehe. Nobody has suggested anyone else. Or they all think I am too messed up to ruin someone’s life, I don’t know. 😦 Then there are boys who can’t or won’t hit on their friend’s friend or friend’s sisters. I think I am just ranting now, so I will stop before it turns into a full blown angry monologue. Again.

  

24

Dating tales : Boy 2 : Date 3

I forced myself to text BS during the week. Partly because I wanted to ask him if he wanted to watch Avengers next week with me and some friends of mine. He mentioned then that he was leaving for India for 3 weeks on that Friday. And then he mentioned that he was in San Francisco for a couple of days for an interview with ‘an Electronics giant whose primary symbol is a bitten fruit.’ I was quite impressed, because landing an interview with them is pretty hard.

After some back and forth, we decided to go for a movie on Friday. I told him Byonkesh Bakshi was still running near my place, but it was a late show. He was all for it. He wanted to meet at around 9.15 pm after dinner because he was at a work dinner thing. I said sure, because I wanted to finish my Zumba class in the evening and eat something healthy anyways. So, I did my dancing, went home, made squash soup(don’t wrinkle your pretty noses, it tastes brilliant!) and then got ready to leave at 9 pm. As I was on my way, he called that he will be late. I just turned away and went to a store called Target to kill time. I was in half a mind to just go back home and cancel on him. But I controlled my anger, and in his defense, I am the mad one about timing and he was at a work soiree which isn’t easy to get off. And then, I left Target only after he called me that he was almost there.

There were like 4 couples in the entire theater. :-/ I chose the most visible seats. It was actually pretty good. The thriller part is quite well executed and I like the whole vintage feel to it. My favorite character HAS to be Puntiram! He is like the ‘Ek Minute’ guy from Kahaani.

For the whole time, I kept the bag of popcorn planted firmly between us on the seat. I was leaning away from him for the 3 hours of the movie so much, that my neck got a nice pull. Do you know that there is a kiss in the movie? What’s the big deal you say? Me too. I was so supremely nonchalant and munching popcorn for the whole while that the heroine was on the screen, or staring at her dead straight with full concentration. Infinitely awkward. Must. Grow. Up.

I made a lot of random jokes before, during and after the movie. I still have no jokes to report from him, or any incident that made me laugh. He may never know how funny, or cute, or loud, my laugh is. Sigh.

While leaving, he gave me a hug. And a peck on my cheek during the said hug.

I still feel absolutely nothing. There is a feeling in my tummy when I think about it, but its not that happy feeling.

I think he likes me, because earlier while texting, he had said that the weekend would be busy because he has to shop and pack for India. But after the movie, he texted if we could meet again. But I had to tell him that I had a house party 40 min away and I was gonna spend the night with friends.

I have to figure out what to do. And soon.

Sigh……. #boyproblems

25

Dating Tales : Boy 2 : Date 2

I had a first second date. If that makes sense at all.

So, I met the guy from last Saturday’s brunch. We shall call him BS from now on, because those are his initials. Now peeps, don’t get over-excited because we don’t know if he is going to be a regular fixture on this blog or not. So calm down. *takes a deep breath*

We met on Friday for dinner at Veggie Grill, which is a vegetarian/vegan place very well known for its almost meaty burgers and salads. He asked me to meet him at 8 pm. But that was so late! Heavens forbid if my watching-YouTube-crap-while-lying-down time gets disturbed. So, I asked him to meet at 7-ish. I told him I may be working late and I will come directly after work. I was just making up stories. I did not want him to pick me up from home. And I thought if I say I am coming directly from work, I can avoid that. While texting on Saturday night, he asked me if I wanted to hike on Sunday morning. But I had to tell him I have plans with friends already. I fibbed. Again, Sunday morning lazy time is very precious.

I thought if I am going to that particular mall, I may as well go to the stores, and do, you know, some shopping type of thing. At this point I have to tell you guys something about me. If I have to get somewhere at say 7, I start getting antsy at 5. I will start planning and timing all my moves, and I will get very impatient.  I have this crazy thing to reach anywhere on time and I end up reaching way before time. So I thought I will reach by 6, which will give me enough time to park, and check the stores out before meeting him at 7. I left at 5.30(thanks to the anxiety of reaching on time!) and I reached at 5.45. Meh. I got so bored so quickly. And it was 6.56 and I though okk, he will be here soon, thank God. But, he texted just then that he is leaving, and will be there in 10 minutes. Meh again.

So we met in front of a carousal where I was sitting and he came over. He gave me a one arm hug and we sat there for 5 minutes talking, and then proceeded for dinner. He ordered at the counter for both of us, and this time I shamelessly let him pay. And this time, I did pick the right thing that I wanted, and I did not have to stare at his food with greed. *Mr. Un-Engineer, I did offer him my food to taste, and he politely declined, but did not offer me his. So your advice failed.* We spoke a lot about work and general. I learnt that he mostly eats take outs for dinner, he was brought up as a vegetarian but had to eat mystery meats in Japan during a work trip, and that he has been to Universal Studios 5 times in 4 years with different family members each time and friends.

The grossly sloppy person that I am, I dropped a noodle from my soup on my jeans, I suspect right on my cr#tch. I am hoping he wasn’t looking. And since I am on a minimum carb diet right now(beach season is coming!), I ordered my food on a bed of kale instead of a bun. The whole time I was insanely worried that I have green pieces stuck on my teeth. Sheesh. That’s why I can’t order burgers, noodles and salads during meetings. My dad and my friends say I need to learn to eat. I had a chance to go to the NDA Ball when I was in Bachelor’s, and Ani and Ne were refusing to let me go unless I learnt to eat properly.

Anyways, I thought we had been eating for a long time, but it was just 35 minutes or so. We started walking around the mall when he asked if I wanted to see Byomkesh Bakshi, the movie. I did want to, but the show was so late at 9.40 pm and I was so sure I would doze off. Also, dark movie theaters with a relatively new person, is something I want to avoid. I don’t have a clean history with movie times in Pune , back in the days. 😉 So much so, when I was in India in January and I told Ani that I may watch a movie with a college ex, she screamed at me and said no. She is such a mom. I will try to hang out a bit longer the next time we meet, if we do meet.

So that was it. When we parted, he gave me what I described to Moo as a hug that lasted 2 seconds extra than normally how I hug my friends but for some reason did not feel comfortable at all.

But… But I just realized that during our dates, I was telling him all the stories about my goofiness at work, and stupidities and he was laughing a li’l bit. But there was nothing he said that made me laugh. And I am so easy about laughing! Shawn says it doesnt take much to crack me up! I only fall for guys(and have previously in all my relationships) who can send me into peals of laughter, with eyes watering and where I can say the silliest things and get the silliest things said to. Really lame jokes are my lifeline. I cant even explain how the xBF’s humor was. It was a cross between extreme rudeness and insults and lame jokes. Abhi hopefully remembers it well. It is not a comparison, but just what I like in a boy.

I did walk back to my car smiling a little bit. But I am still waiting for the guitars and the violins.

When she talks about your vague Eat, Pray, Love aspirations:

PS : Mindy Kaling is my soulmate.